It’s just a jump to the left …

Posted July 10th, 2010 by wonko

Navigating insurmountable distances is, naturally enough, a pain. When we have a number of worlds in our universe, then travelling between and betwixt is annoying. There are many solutions, and I suspect we shall see them all (and some I have not yet thought of) emerge as the universe expands and develops.

Jump Station 1.0

Jump Station 1.0

Our first “Jump Station” is conveniently near the initial spawn point on the home world. It provides one-click access to places of interest. I think this approach makes sense, particularly when activities are spread over a wide geographic location.

While I was making our jump station, it occurred to me that it might be nice to welcome our groups of cybernauts, so fashioned a “Welcome Wall” as well, after an idea I saw DJ wrestling with.

Welcome Wall

Welcome Wall

Some sense that they are expected and welcome was the aim, and given that the punters pull from a wide variety of geographic locations also, it is a good idea to have them know where they sit and a bigger picture of where others are from also – virtual worlds are brilliant for conquering the tyranny of distance (as any dedicated user of synchronous technologies will attest). All set to welcome our first wave of cybernauts it seems.

One of the activities planned is a naming competition:

Name our Companions

Name our Companions

We ask in-world punters to name our girl, boy and k9 cybernaut companions. Initially I had the notion they would be our Dick, Dora and Nip (or more modernly Sam, Pam and Digger … oops, 2 more copyright laws breached? I claim “fair use”) but think it fitting that the waters be tested with our punters – kids have much better imaginations than us old people anyway.

What do you think we should call our in-world companions? (He asks, knowing nearly no one actually reads this stuff)

Anyway, buildings are being purposed and fitted out with furniture, accessories and most importantly, interactive bits and pieces.

DeBono Thinking Hats

DeBono Thinking Hats

The dome made using the working title “The Blue Room” is now our Gallery Walk.

Featured in the Gallery Walk currently is a DeBono Thinking Hats exercise, where cybernauts examine images and then ask themselves things related to the six different ways of thinking about an issue, and respond accordingly. In constructing this zone, I decided to make a hat in 3d (thinking literally here, complete with hat band) and then, when placing them in-world, decided they would best be displayed on a hat stand, which I then also made, after wasting nearly an hour in the object yard looking for anything that might convincingly be purposed as a hat stand. I “think” I can make the hats stick to the head of the punter also – as in they “don” a particular colour hat literally when talking using that point of view – will explore that idea (as a “carry item” mover) as it sounds cute – not sure how easy it will be to place it on the head, if all avatars body geometry is tricky, but will give it a whirl.

The Blue Room seems to fit this exercise really well – it is sectioned off, has a separate area that can be used for display and presentation and has lots of wall space for posting ideas etc.  News room to make now … read all about it!

Wear a hat, choose a point of perspective

Wear a hat, choose a point of perspective

EDIT: in a blindingly obvious (after screwing it up a few dozen times) application of a “pick up item” mover, punters can now WEAR the DeBono hat of their choice whilst adopting that point of view – quite chuffed about that actually.

You attach (or link) the mover to a tagged location on the body (the head, for instance is 4), then tweak the u/d displacement depending on where the origin of the object is, then control the relative displacement front/back, left/right so it sits convincingly on or near the top of the head.

When worn, the hat nicely follows the movement of the head.  I chose lighter tones of the 6 colours so they were obvious when worn and made a little shelf to sit them on, adjacent to the posters providing lay-summaries of the 6 ways of looking at something.

… well, I thought it was pretty neat at least.

One Response to “It’s just a jump to the left …”

  1. DebJ

    I read it 🙂 Jump Station is clever – and will assist learners with more efficient ways of learning 🙂 6 hats activity is really good… the idea of wearing the hat has that kinaesthetic quality to the activity as well. So, yep definitely really neat!